Home > Beckie, Bragging on Sarah, Inspirational > It is so hard to be graceful

It is so hard to be graceful

The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low. “ – Richard Carlson

How is it that some people can be blindsided by tragedy, walk gracefully through it and/or with grace after?  We all can think of someone like this.  There are famous people like Oprah Winfrey and Beth Moore, but there are people here in Johnson City that have no idea how inspirational they are to me.  I have been struggling to “walk with grace” ever since Jim was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  Whenever I felt I was about to transform into a blue-eyed monster, I would repeat “with grace” over and over.  At that time, I understood it to mean for me to be nice to Jim and Sarah.  However, after Jim passed away, I struggled to understand the real meaning of grace.  My mind would spin in circles.  Like a dog chasing its tail.  I still wonder what grace really feels like to those walking around with it.

At the reception, after the memorial service for Jim, I remember people coming up to me and they would very kindly compliment how I was handling things with such grace.  I would smile, but in my head, I was thinking, “No.  Really.  I’m not.”  I have since found out that many widows react the way I did.  It’s just shock and detachment – not grace.  Thank you to those who thought I was graceful though.

Seeing as the unhelpful definition of “graceful” is “having or showing grace,” I will turn to a few synonyms to be more exact: adroit, controlled, dexterous, easy, harmonious, nimble, pleasing, pliant, poised, practiced or skilled.  It is almost laughable how far I am from these qualities, yet, I really want to own, feel and be them. 

Very often, I am still wrestling with a steering wheel I have no control over.  No one likes where it took any of us.  Life still does not feel “right.”  How can it?  Jim isn’t here.  But, the more I fight against what I cannot change, the more damage I cause.  Like a little bird caught in a net flapping and flopping around.  When I was training to be a yoga instructor, they taught us that yoga has a few basic moral laws: nonviolence, truthfulness, compassion and kindness.  Then, they said we had to practice this within ourselves first.  Otherwise, how can we fully and truthfully offer it to the rest of the world?  Ok, raise your hand if you practice nonviolence, truthfulness, compassion and kindness with yourself. 

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Outwardly, I’m pretty good (not great, could always improve) at these yogic laws.  I’ve picked a fight only a handful of times and don’t eat much meat, so I’m not very violent.  Hopefully, you can tell how truthful and open I am trying to be with you.  Ask me anything, if I am allowed, I will give you my answer.  Kids and animals tend to like me, so I think we can check the boxes for compassion and kindness too.  Here’s the big – BUT – I am none of this with myself.  I’ve got a really mean voice in my head and I occasionally have to reword her “comments” so they aren’t as harsh.  Daily I hear so many “I should haves” or “I can’t believe I didn’t dos” or “why was I so uptight about that,” and some of them stop me in my tracks.  So, nonviolence, compassion and kindness are out the window.  For me, truthfulness is the scary yogic law because there are different kinds of truths.  There is factual truth, and I’m pretty good with that since it is solid.  But, in writing posts for this blog, I have found emotional truths are able to shift and change.  That’s a little freaky.  Sometimes, I have to sit with a story before I tell you about it, so I can whittle down to my basic, real truth.  And sometimes I have to go back and rewrite what I just wrote.  So, I’d say my truthfulness is sitting on the windowsill.

Having said all that, I still believe the path to becoming a graceful person is by trying really hard to follow those basic yogic laws and handing the wheel to God.  (As in, “letting go, and letting God.”)  Wow.  This is going to take a while…

Sarah: Here is the link to Sarah’s 3rd birthday party pictures that I promised in the last blog.

This past weekend she went swimming for the 3rd time, and was in the water for 2 hours.

making friends

a good swim with Papa

hi there

she's finally tired

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  1. May 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

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